‘We will lis­ten to ev­ery­one’ vows head of town task­force

Macclesfield Express - - NEWS -

THE man lead­ing the task­force driv­ing for­ward the re­gen­er­a­tion of the town cen­tre has promised to lis­ten to ev­ery­one’s ideas.

Com­mer­cial prop­erty ex­pert Nick Hynes met with the new­lyestab­lished Macclesfield Town Cen­tre Vi­sion De­sign Board last Thurs­day.

Set up by Cheshire East Coun­cil fol­low­ing Deben­hams’ de­ci­sion to back out of plans to an­chor the £90m Silk Street scheme, its role is to ad­vise the coun­cil and its part­ners to help se­cure in­vest­ment, fund­ing and de­liv­ery for the over­all vi­sion for the town.

So far membership in­cludes Cheshire East Coun­cil (CEC) of­fi­cers, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Make it Macc fo­rum, cam­paign group Wake Up Macc, the Civic So­ci­ety, the Trea­cle Mar­ket, Barn­aby and the Se­nior Cit­i­zens Hall, as well as re­tail­ers.

There are plans to in­vite coun­cil­lors from CEC and the new town coun­cil, as well as youth fo­rum rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

But Mr Hynes, 59, has pledged to spread his net wide to hear peo­ple’s views.

He said: “You have to give CEC and leader Michael Jones great credit for hav­ing the vi­sion to ap­point some­one to lis­ten to the peo­ple of Macclesfield. But be as­sured I am not here for the coun­cil. I am here for the peo­ple of Macclesfield. This isn’t a closed shop. This is an ear for the town to get into. I am here to lis­ten to every­body this time, and then de­liver it.”

Mr Hynes, who grew up in the town and still lives here, said re­gen­er­a­tion was more than just about devel­op­ment.

He said: “We have to do some­thing which is vi­able and sus­tain­able for the town. But re­gen­er­a­tion isn’t just about bricks and mor­tar. It’s about peo­ple and events.

“Trea­cle and Barn­aby have been fan­tas­tic for this town. We we need to bring other events into the town.”

The im­me­di­ate fo­cus of the panel, which will meet ev­ery month, is to in­ves­ti­gate op­tions for a leisure scheme, such as a cinema, and map the town cen­tre to en­sure ar­eas that re­quire re­gen­er­a­tion out­side mu­nic­i­pal bound­aries aren’t missed.

Mr Hynes said he hopes to hand over an in­terim re­port to the coun­cil by the end of the sum­mer and a full re­port to the lead­er­ship by the end of the year.

He said: “We need to do things quickly but not a knee-jerk re­ac­tion. It is about com­pro­mise. You’re not go­ing to please ev­ery­one. But it’s do or die. We are not do­ing as well as other towns and we have to do some­thing about it.”

●● Nick Hynes

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